German man on trial for murder in COVID mask row
A murder trial began in western Germany on Monday, examining the fatal shooting of a petrol station worker, allegedly in a row over mask-wearing, reported dpa.
According to the indictment, the 50-year-old defendant shot the 20-year-old employee with a revolver at the station in the town of Idar-Oberstein in September.
The young man is said to have repeatedly told the customer to put on a mask – as was required under coronavirus rules – before he was killed, in a crime that shocked the nation.
The suspect, a German national with no previous police record, has confessed to the killing. Following his arrest, he reportedly said he had long felt burdened by pandemic restrictions and had decided to "take a stand."
Alongside murder, he has also been charged with unlawful possession of a weapon.
The trial is to take place during 13 sittings scheduled up to mid-May.
The defendant's attorney said before the trial that his client intended to make a confession and express his remorse for the crime.
At the district court in Bad Kreuznach, the alleged killer was met by a large crowd of photographers and camera teams, but kept his arms folded, head bowed and eyes closed. Like everyone in the courtroom, he was wearing a protective mouth-and-nose covering.